I don’t remember the original source of this Zen selfie stick image, but I like it.
“I’ve stuck with Zen because it is unflinchingly honest, but at the same time accepting, kind, and caring — not in a soft syrupy way, but in a rugged, rough and tumble way. To become clear you have to see what’s really there, all the mental junk you’ve made and accumulated over the years. The honesty will force you to acknowledge the parts of yourself you’d rather keep hidden. The acceptance allows you to look at the less savory parts of your self without being overly self-critical.”
~ from this kwanumzen.org page
ramdass.org has an article titled, 17 ways to use meditation for anxiety relief right now.
A friend once told me he had no self-confidence. “That’s good,“ I said, “You’re halfway there. All you need now is no no-self-confidence.”
I’m not a huge believer in certain types of karma in this world, but Jack Kornfield offers this discussion about karma related to speech, and intention:
“Speech is one area in which karma can be seen in an easy and direct way. For this exercise, resolve to take two or three days to carefully notice the intentions that motivate your speech. Direct your attention to the state of mind that precedes talking, the motivation for your comments, responses, and observations. Try to be particularly aware of whether your speech is even subtly motivated by boredom, concern, irritation, loneliness, compassion, fear, love, competitiveness, greed, or whatever state you observe ... Simply notice the various motivations in the mind and the speech that flows from them.”
“Then, after discovering which motivation is present as you speak, notice the effect of the speech. If there is competitiveness or grasping or pride or irritation behind the speech, what response does it elicit from the world around you? If there is compassion or love, what is the response? If your speech is mindless, as if you were on automatic pilot, what is the response? If there is clarity and concern, how is this received and responded to?”
It brings up an excellent point: What motivates your speech?
I don’t know the origin of this “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace” Dalai Lama - Homer Simpson cartoon, but I like it.
Today’s mindfulness “lesson of the day” (mostly for myself) is a reminder to keep practicing, even when you don’t feel like it. You don’t get to choose when moments of enlightenment happen, so the best thing you can do is keep practicing so those moments will be possible when the right circumstances (karma?) come into alignment.
What happens is that over time, both the mindfulness and the enlightenment bits change the wrinkles in your brain, change your perspective and attitude, and cleanse the environmental conditioning of whatever happened to get you to this point. With continued practice you evolve (think “metamorphosis”) into a new person over time — this time a person of your own choosing, rather than a person conditioned by where and when you were born and lived.
“According to what one of the Elders say,
taking an enemy on the battlefield
is like a hawk taking a bird;
Even though it enters into
the midst of a thousand of them,
it pays no attention to any bird
other than the one that it has first marked.”
If you want to be free,
Get to know your real self.
It has no form, no appearance,
No root, no basis, no abode,
But is lively and buoyant.
It responds with versatile facility,
But its function cannot be located.
Therefore when you look for it,
You become further from it;
When you seek it,
You turn away from it all the more.
From an interview with Zen Master Bon Shim, for people who live with a lot of fear, worries, and insecurity:
Question: Do you feel that Zen has helped you?
Zen Master Bon Shim: Yes, yes, tremendously. I was a different person forty years ago. I was always very scared, scared of life, of people, of situations.